Hennessey VelociRaptor 6×6 – Everything’s Bigger in Texas
Although the technology is nothing new, 6×6 vehicles remain extremely uncommon in the marketplace today. It’s a pretty safe bet that the only 6x6s from the past few decades that remains in the awareness of the average person are the legendary creations based on the Mercedes-Benz G Class vehicles – most notably the G 63 AMG 6×6, cemented into automotive history by one iconic Top Gear episode.
However, there’s a new kid on the block that is every bit as ludicrous, capable and eye-catching as the Mercedes. The model Texans at Hennessey Performance have been “making fast cars faster” since 1991, and have made serious waves in the automotive industry quite a few times throughout their history; perhaps most notably with the Hennessey Venom GT, once the fastest street-legal car in the world. Aside from their own bespoke creations, Hennessey is likely most widely known for upgrading and tuning Ford vehicles, and the subject of this article is the limited-edition Hennessey VelociRaptor – the ultimate (and most desirable) Ford Raptor variant in every way possible.
A Tale of Two Extra Tires
Obviously, the biggest change here from the production Raptor is the two extra tires, made possible by the addition of one extra axle.. A true 6×6 vehicle, both of the rear axles also feature locking differentials driving the 20” Toyo Open Country rubbers. While lockers are a “stealth” feature that aren’t visible from walking around the vehicle, it is a tremendous quality of life upgrade and befits a purpose-built truck like the VelociRaptor. Mechanically, locking differentials don’t allow the two wheels on an axle to “slip,” or turn at different rates while cornering, like a normal open differential does. Instead, the wheels are forced to turn together at the same speed. This has the effect of dramatically increasing performance in snow, sand, or mud. This is a hardcore, off-road-only feature. It’s safe to say getting this thing stuck is going to take some work with four drive wheels to help extricate the truck from sticky situations. You’ll also find a total of four Fox shocks in the rear (for a grand total of six) to help soak up the ruts and rocks on tough Western trails.
Helping to clear obstacles and adding to the road presence of the VelociRaptor are custom front and rear bumpers. One LED light bar is mounted inside the front bumper, and there’s also another high-output light bar at the top of the windshield – a traditional, effective, and popular placement to increase visibility when leaving the pavement.
Other than the massive suspension upgrades, the VelociRaptor also sports a number of bespoke features and all of the badging that the discerning customer would expect with a vehicle of this clout and price (and incidentally, that price starts around $350,000). Each VelociRaptor sports a serialized plaque on the engine bay, letting you know where you stand in the limited-production run of this vehicle. Of course, there’s custom Hennessey and VelociRaptor branding all over, although it still retains the classic Ford grille. A custom, stainless cat-back exhaust not only looks great, but ensures your VelociRaptor will sound the part as well.
Improvements Under the Hood
Hennessey makes things go faster, and the VelociRaptor 6×6 features an impressive 558 horsepower and 622 pound-feet of torque, and a Stage 1 twin turbocharger supplying forced air to the motor. Hennessey has also made several upgrades to the intercoolers to handle all of that extra power and boost, as well as a high-flow induction system to ensure the engine can meet the additional supply requirements for the turbos.
It should be said that these numbers are pulled out of a 3.5L EcoBoost six-cylinder – not a V8 as some might prefer. The EcoBoost is now the standard motor in the Raptors (as well as many other vehicles in the Ford lineup, including the flagship the Ford GT supercar), and with the right tuning it is plenty capable of holding its own against the older eight cylinder models. The re-flashed ECM included with the 6×6 also helps to unlock the performance of the EcoBoost.
Another great thing about the VelociRaptor 6×6? A three year, 36,000 mile warranty from Hennessey. A noteworthy aside – if you’re big into Raptors but might not be able to afford the full treatment that the VelociRaptor receives, Hennessey also offers their Stage 1 upgrades separately, allowing you the cosmetic and suspension upgrades you need with the benefits of a professional installation job.
The Hennessey VelociRaptor is a masterclass in re-engineering a vehicle and taking it as far as a platform can go, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a more extreme or exclusive variant of the Ford Raptor. Celebrities like Post Malone count themselves as one of the 50 lucky customers, and it’s a safe bet that these will always remain incredibly in demand on the secondary market – in fact, it appears values will continue to increase. Production began on these monsters in 2017, and while it’s difficult to find official production information as of press time, it’s likely that they are nearing the end of their factory run, if they haven’t reached it already.
If you’ve always craved an eye-catching, capable vehicle with more wheels than anything that anyone in your neighborhood owns, but the Mercedes AMG 6×6 is a little out of your price range, some serious consideration of the Hennessey VelociRaptor is probably warranted.
Is it ridiculous? Yes, like all 6×6 trucks.
Is it also a glorious monument to the Texas ideals of the ultimate souped-up pickup truck? Also, yes.
You know the old saying – more wheels, more fun… right?